Hearing Loss And Noise

Prolonged noise exposure is a leading cause of progressive and most often permanent hearing loss. It is usually progressive over a long period of time, however even sudden short bursts of sounds over 90 decibels (dB) can have an impact. Permanent hearing loss can occur in as little as 15 minutes with exposure to certain sounds and almost instantly with unprotected exposure to sounds generated from firearms and certain power tools.

The following information can be used as a guide to determining hazardous noise levels.

Noise Level (dB)Hazardous Exposure LimitActivity
150 dBLess than 15 minutesMost firearms, firecracker
140 dBLess than 15 minutesJet engine, rifle blast
130 dBLess than 15 minutesJackhammer
120 dB15 minutesSirens, amplified rock band
115 dB15 minutesSand blasting
110 dB30 minutesWoodworking, rock concert
105 dB1 hourSporting events, concert band
100 dB2 hoursPneumatic drill, chainsaw
95 dB4 hoursMotorcycle
90 dB8 hoursLawn mower, shop tools

If you are exposed to any sounds above 90 dB, you need to take immediate action to prevent permanent hearing damage.

The good news is noise-induced hearing loss can be prevented! The use of high fidelity custom earplugs reduces the risk of hearing damage from noise in the workplace, loud music at concerts, sudden gun blasts, power tools, motorcycles, venues such as air shows, athletic events and motor sports. See information on Custom Ear and Hearing Protection.